100 not out for Pulse manager
August 6, 2018
Timing her run to perfection, long-serving Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse netball manager Jo Holmes has the ideal setting of a home Grand Final to notch her 100th cap with the team.
The popular manager may have to wait until after the final whistle of the August 12 Grand Final to take it all in but can look back with plenty of satisfaction on reaching a significant personal milestone.
Holmes had despaired of ever getting the role after applying for it twice and being declined on both occasions before finally getting the seal of approval in 2012 after stints as the assistant manager.
``I definitely did not think I’d ever reach the 100 mark but I’m just super stoked to have done so,’’ she said.
``I feel a really good sense of achievement in sticking with it for this long. With the different players that come through, the different coaching styles and the different ways everyone works means you have to adapt. That keeps everything nice and fresh, and challenging, every year being a little bit different from the previous.’’
Holmes wears several hats in her role, attention to detail as a planner and organiser, team mother, a keen sense of humour, neutrality, player welfare and a thick skin, all coming with the territory. During her time, the Pulse have been through some tough times but she has always retained an upbeat and positive attitude.
``Every different challenge brings different rewards,’’ she said. ``If there is something challenging, there’s always a silver lining that will come out of it. When times are challenging, and it sounds very cliched, but I believe it is part of a pathway to get to something better.
``You have to go through those hard times to know how good the good times are. And we’re in such an amazing space right now but I have certainly done the hard yards with a lot of different coaches, players and a lot of mixed results.’’
Over the past two seasons, the good times have certainly outweighed the bad while providing Holmes with plenty to savour.
``Having last year’s Elimination Final in Wellington and winning, then going down to the Grand Final in Invercargill was definitely a highlight,’’ she said.
``And this year, the whole season has been really good, just knowing that we’ve gone through as No 1 and straight through to the Grand Final. Hopefully, the real highlight is still to come.’’
Over her years with the Pulse, Holmes has worked with a multitude of different players while the coaching roster has included Kate Carpenter, Annette Pearce, former Australian mentor Jill McIntosh, Robyn Broughton, Marianne Delaney-Hoshek, Frances Solia, Tanya Dearns, Tania Hoffman and the current pair of Yvette McCausland-Durie and Sandra Edge.
Holmes has also managed NZA and the FAST5 Ferns team which won the FAST5 World Netball Series in 2014.
Since 2012, the one consistent for Holmes has been captain Katrina Grant, who arrived at the Pulse a year earlier, the pair riding the peaks and troughs together over the last seven years.
``I can’t say enough about Jo, to be honest,’’ Grant said. `She always puts the players first and right from the start has always been incredibly supportive in wanting to help us grow.
``She’s so meticulous, organised and knows exactly what to do to the point where she has already got our needs done before we even realise what we need. She’s not afraid to tell us how it is which I respect and she has the universal respect of all the players, and from a manager, that’s what you need.’’
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